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Kosovo

Over the course of 2023, Global Communities continued working with young people aged 15-24 in 9 municipalities of Kosovo through our Up to Youth program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program – which began in 2019 – mobilized thousands of young people, often from marginalized backgrounds, to act as powerful agents of change in their communities, governments and local economies by training them in leadership and life skills.

Global Communities Entry 2

Thanks to Up to Youth, I no longer fear speaking out my thoughts, regardless of who is the audience, be it peers, politicians, professionals or even my professors. I am aware now that I might not always be right. However, my thoughts are important to share.

Up to Youth participant

Community kitchen volunteer

Participants were also given opportunities to design and implement their own business ventures and community development projects. For example, Up to Youth’s School of Entrepreneurship teaches young people how to conduct market research, create business models, obtain financing and access mentorship opportunities while also strengthening their skills in problem solving and public speaking. In its final full program year, our implementation team also held workshops for participants on public financial management, municipal budgeting and the production of public policy papers that define youth needs to local governments and enhance democratic oversight.

Global Communities Entry 3

As Global Communities’ approach positions young people at the center of their own development, the program also formed Youth Advisory Boards with representatives from various municipalities to advise and make decisions on programmatic activities and to ensure all interventions reflected their priority needs.

Notable Numbers

Young people who were trained in leadership, civic action and personal development; Up To Youth welcomed an additional 154 youth to the trainings via the “Bring Your Friend” campaign.

Young people who registered for the YouthLead platform

Young people who were placed in external internships after engaging private sector businesses

Meetings held with Peer Support Groups, enabling inclusion of at-risk youth outside the program and opportunities for Up To Youth participants to assume leadership roles

Critical thinking and social media training sessions held with newly recruited program participants